Saturday, December 12, 2009

OK, so years and years ago, back in my Santa Cruz days, an Indian artist called Panjabi MC had a song on the charts in the US called "Beware of the Boys." Jay-Z got ahold of it and did a few verses over it, and the first time I heard it was when my alarm went off at some obscene hour; I was in one of those hazes where you're half asleep and sorta dreaming whatever you hear.

What I thought I'd heard was Jay-Z blaming Ronald Reagan for September Eleventh (which is a pretty strong political statement, especially for a less political rapper like Hova). I was pretty jazzed, so I told a friend or two about how rad that was. Then when I heard the song later I never found section I'd heard when half asleep. I concluded that I must have completely dreamed it. After all, an NY mc as mainstream as Jay-Z isn't likely to start making aggressive claims about 9/11 only a year after it went down. So from then on I would tell people the funny story about how I dreamed Jay-Z hated Reagan.

Now I'm not sure if I just missed it every other time I heard the Jay-Z version of the song, or if it was censored on American Radio. I never bought the CD, and was never a particularly big Jay-Z fan, so it's possible I just never payed close enough attention at the right time to catch it. Pandora is using the full version, and I was taken aback to find that my dream was a reality. Here's a transcription of verse two found online:

Ma, I ain't gotta tell you but it's ya boy Hov
From the U.S., you just, lay down slow
Catch ya boy minglin' in England, nettlin' in the Netherlands
Checkin' in daily under aliases
We rebellious, we back home, screamin' leave Iraq alone
But all my soldiers in the field, I will wish you safe return
But only love kills war when will they learn
It's international Hov, I been havin' the flow
Before Bin Laden got Manhattan to blow
Before Ronald Reagan got Manhattan to blow
Before I was cappin' it then back before
Before we had it all day, poppin' in the hallway
Cop one offa someone to give you more yey
Yea, but that's another stor-ay
But for now mami turn it around and let the boy play (Jay)

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